As a medical student, we recognize much is happening academically in addition to balancing competing priorities. This section is for you to get firsthand content and information about how vital the specialty of pathology is from the leading organization of board-certified pathologists and our members.
We welcome you to become part of our community and learn how pathologists are central to patient care.
Why Choose a Pathology Career
The following are some commonly cited reasons for entering the field of pathology:
- It’s challenging and rewarding. Every day, pathologists draw on their extensive medical knowledge to identify and diagnose disease processes that help determine the management and care for patients.
- There’s great work-life balance. No other specialty offers such a flexible schedule with possibilities for a well-blended lifestyle.
- You use cutting-edge tools and AI. Pathology is leading the evolution of modern medicine through genomics, digital pathology, and AI/machine learning.
- You work with a multidisciplinary team. As part of the diagnostic team, you’ll work with other pathologists, physicians, and, in many cases, directly with patients.
- You contribute to advancements in science and medicine. You’ll find a diverse field of opportunities in academic research, private practice, biotech industries, teaching, and more.
Fast Facts on Pathologists
This dynamic and growing specialty has much to offer, as evidenced by the following statistics.
- The average annual pathologist salary is $316,000 (2021 Medscape Physician Compensation Report).
- Pathology encompasses 11 subspecialties to choose from.
- The average pathologist hourly workweek is 49.2 hours (2021 Medscape Physician Compensation Report).
- Roughly 46% of practices are looking to hire pathologists (2019 CAP Practice Leader Survey).
- Pathology is consistently among the top specialties for workplace happiness and among the lowest for burnout (2018 AMA Survey).
Ready for Pathology? (Virtual Discussion)
Experts in the field provided insight and answered questions on what a career in pathology entails.
Resources on Pathology
Our resident members authored, researched, interviewed, and videoed on why pathology is a rewarding specialty.
From being central to patient care, at the front lines of cutting-edge technologies, and offering a wide scope of practice, this video explores the top five reasons why medical students should pursue a career in pathology.
The specialty of pathology is often a mystery to medical students. This article brings to light the truths surrounding the top five myths about pathology.
In this video, CAP resident members share how they define pathology and why they are pathologists. You can also listen to an interview with educator Dr. Husain Sattar.
Leveraging data to show positive trends when it comes to finding a job in pathology and compensation, now is a great time to be a job-seeking pathologist.
Learn how a two-hour tour for medical students of the core clinical laboratory is a model to be copied as it provides insights as to the importance of pathology in medicine.
You can also download a PDF containing facts and stats on the specialty of pathology and its practitioners.
Apply for a Medical Student Travel Award
The CAP Foundation's Medical Student Travel Award funds up to $1,200 for medical students’ travel expenses to attend a Residents Forum meeting. Awardees are paired with a Residents Forum delegate to help them:
- Learn more about the specialty of pathology and residency training programs.
- Broaden their understanding of the role pathologists play on the health care team.
- Create networking opportunities with our members.
Medical Student Forum
Looking to explore the field of pathology? If you are a current medical student the CAP invites you to join the Medical Student Forum, today. Earn CAP member-only benefits and discover the value of pathology as a medical specialty, beginning with the CAP Medical Student Forum.
Forum Membership Qualifications
- The individual must be currently enrolled in a medical school program headquartered in the US. The CAP does not yet have a Medical Student Forum category for international medical school students.
- The medical student’s anticipated graduation date must be in the future, eg, the student does not yet have an MD credential. Once the student is enrolled in an ACGME accredited training program, the student is eligible for Junior Membership.
- Student shall complete and submit the Medical Student Forum application.
The CAP offers medical students interested in the specialty of pathology opportunities for engagement with CAP members. Join the Medical Student Forum to receive the following benefits:
- Access to CAP member-only content.
- An invitation to attend (with complimentary registration) the CAP Spring and Fall Residents Forum. Air travel, hotel, and non-group meal functions are the responsibility of the medical student.
- Online community with pathology residents to include live webinars and CAP Chats.
- Subscriptions to CAP TODAY and Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
By going into pathology, you're not limiting yourself because you are touching every other field of medicine.Simone Arvisais-Anhalt, MD
Careers in Pathology
We encourage medical students to consider an exciting and rewarding career in pathology. Our career center distinguishes itself from other job boards in a number of ways:
- Ability to post resumes and applications anonymously, enabling candidates to stay connected to the career center while maintaining full control over their confidential information.
- Advanced job alert system that notifies a candidate of new opportunities matching criteria pre-selected according to the candidate's desired postings.
- Access to industry-specific jobs—and top-quality candidates—infrequently seen on the mass job boards.
Pathology Interest Groups
Several universities have pathology interest groups that raise awareness about pathology among medical students as to the crucial role pathologists play in medical practice.
If you are interested in starting a pathology interest group at your medical school, or would like to have yours listed, please send us an email.